Live Review: Apparat at London Koko – 20th October 2011

By on Wednesday, 2nd November 2011 at 2:00 pm

With the launch of ‘The Devil’s Walk’, Apparat are reaching new realms of popularity. Sascha Ring and company’s breed of electronic music has gained increasing amounts of attention as musicians in their world are becoming popular as well. With Radiohead’s ‘The King of Limbs’ (review here) sounding like a mix of Four Tet and Apparat’s more recent work, it was kind of inevitable that this was going to happen and so tonight, we’re at Koko.

‘The Devil’s Walk’ is hardly a dance album, but Sascha Ring is hardly a dancing man. If you shut your eyes then yeah, you can hear some Thom Yorke, but comparisons as such are cheap, and Ring is so much more than that. He’s the mastermind behind a series of beautifully crafted records and collaborations including the fantastic Moderat, a project he worked on with Modeselektor. Tracks from Moderat feature in this 90m-inute set, as the suave gentleman and his live band give off a humble yet commanding role in the 1,400-capacity venue and slide seamlessly through tracks.
Tracks like ‘Arcadia’ bounce and swirl as crowd members oblige to engage in the full band’s unique blend of music. When artists such as Apparat bring a group of musicians together, it really adds a new feeling to the stage as instead of one man on stage playing from a booth, it’s a rich and adaptable sound. Apparat stick to sounding tight in a brilliant manner though, possibly even sounding better than on record.  ‘Ash/Black Veil’ takes on a new depth and the likes of ‘Rusty Nails’ (Moderat) gets everyone moving. It’s hardly a pit, more a sea of bodies washing around each other as they’re hit by a tidal wave of sublime music.

Time, however, does move on, and Ring pushes the boundaries of what he’s allowed to do, sadly forcing many who commute out before the end. This does have some effect on the vibe at Koko, but those who stuck behind for the whole show are lucky to have been able to experience what it’s like to be in a dream, surrounded by hundreds of similarly-minded people. (To get a feel for the Apparat live experience, watch the video below from the band’s appearance at Prague’s Electronic Beats Festival earlier this year.)


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